Politics postsThursday November 29, 2018
Quote of the Day
“It is damaging and troubling enough that a candidate for the Presidency, throughout his primary campaign, was actively pursuing a business deal that required a favor from the President of a rival nation. It is damaging enough to learn that the President, his children, his business partners, and his campaign officials lied and dissembled frequently about this deal and other contacts with Russia. It places the need for Mueller to complete his investigation in even sharper light. Cohen's revelations call into question much of what Donald Trump and others have said publicly and, perhaps in some cases, under oath, regarding his business interests. It's a point that Adam Schiff, the presumptive future chair of the House Intelligence Committee, made, saying that, after Cohen's guilty plea, ‘We believe other witnesses were untruthful before our committee.’”
Adam Davidson, “Michael Cohen's Disclosures Raise Serious Questions About Donald Trump and His Business Interests,” New Yorker, after the revelations today from Trump's former lawyer. Check it out, too, for “The pathetic part of the Cohen story...”
Collusion, Collusion, Wear a Gas Mask and a Veil, Cont.
From Jonathan Chait's piece, “Forget Impeachment. Mueller's Real Threat to Trump Is in 2020” on the New York Magazine site:
The breadth of Trump's legal exposure exceeds that of any president in American history. It is so vast that it is hard to comprehend. Some, and possibly all, of the following appear to have colluded with Russia on behalf of the Trump campaign: Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Michael Cohen. Trump has been doing business with the criminal underworld in Russia and elsewhere for years, the secrets of which may be revealed by Mueller, or by House Democrats obtaining his tax returns. Federal prosecutors are investigating whether he violated campaign-finance laws by directing hush money to various mistresses. The state of New York is investigating the Trump Foundation for alleged misappropriation of funds and the Trump Organization for decades-long tax fraud. He is being sued for violating the Constitution's Emoluments Clause. He is also being sued for fraud.
And this is just the information we know so far, which has come out despite a Congress dedicated to protecting him from investigation, a benefit he will enjoy for only a few more weeks.
As for what the headline means: Chait says it's unlikely Mueller can indict a sitting president; and for impeachment you need 2/3 of the Senate or (currently) 20 Republican Senators. So the real battle will be in 2020 when the voters can do something about it.
Unfortunately that brings up the scariest line in the piece, According to Chait, a poll from last spring “found that nearly three-fifths of the public is unaware that Mueller has uncovered any crimes at all.”
WSJ: ‘The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has gathered evidence of Mr. Trump's participation in the transactions'
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2015 Donald Trump sat down with media mogul David Pecker, who runs The National Enquirer, among others, about quashing potential allegations of sexual misconduct directed at then-presidential candidate. Pecker would buy the stories, sign the principles to an NDA, then never run them.
We‘ve known about some aspect of this story for a while now. What’s new, in the WSJ piece, is Trump's direct involvement:
Taken together, the accounts refute a two-year pattern of denials by Mr. Trump, his legal team and his advisers that he was involved in payoffs to Ms. McDougal and a former adult-film star. They also raise the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws.
The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan has gathered evidence of Mr. Trump's participation in the transactions.
More more more, as the lady sang.
Vote As If Your Country Depends on It, Cont.
Vote As If Your Country Depends on It, Cont.
Vote like the authoritarian president is a racist sexual predator who colluded with Russia and won't show his taxes and violates the emoluments clause and incites nazi terrorism but the GOP is complicit and the media is distracted so it's up to us to save the god damn country.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) November 5, 2018